Ralf Rangnick has told Manchester United to target RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku as the Premier League club plan another boardroom appointment.
Nkunku has attracted interest from across Europe since moving to the Bundesliga from Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, with the 24-year-old scoring 19 goals and assisting a further 13 in 31 Leipzig games this season.
His Champions League hat-trick in defeat to Manchester City in September led to speculation suggesting Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal were among the clubs monitoring Nkunku’s development.
But it has taken the personal intervention of Rangnick for Manchester United to be included in the conversation.
Old Trafford scouts had not been considering the forward as a possible signing but ESPN say they ‘have been told to increase their focus’ on his suitability ahead of the summer.
The report adds that the recruitment team were only told to keep tabs on Nkunku after Rangnick ‘urged’ Manchester United to consider him, having ‘reviewed the club’s list of potential signings’ upon his arrival.
It is not immediately clear how much a move would cost but two years remain on the player’s Leipzig contract and it was previously reported by German newspaper Bild that they would hold out for a record sale of at least £50.1m.
Manchester United are also continuing to make changes behind the scenes, with another appointment expected to be made in due course.
While Richard Arnold has finally replaced Ed Woodward as chief executive, John Murtough was promoted to football director and Darren Fletcher became technical director last year.
As part of those widespread changes, The Athletic report that ‘a deputy football director’ will be sourced to work with Murtough in a role compared to that used to great effect by Liverpool and Brighton, who have found success with Michael Edwards and Julian Ward, and Dan Ashworth and David Weir respectively.
It is hoped that this will continue to ‘modernise’ Manchester United’s operations off the pitch, as well as reducing the ‘workload’ on Murtough.
The interview process is already said to be underway and while ‘an exact timescale’ for a decision has not been made, Manchester United are hoping for a prompt appointment in time for a crucial summer transfer window, before which a final call is expected on their next permanent manager.
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